African Podcasters on TikTok – untapped possibilities as we uncover the potential of TikTok being the next big podcasting platform…
TikTok is well known for its super-short yet super entertaining video business model. However, this has only worked for podcasters who post audiograms or video snippets of their podcasts. As of March 2022, TikTok has introduced longer-form videos of up to 10 minutes long.
When you search the hashtag ‘podcasts’ on TikTok, it shows that the word has been viewed over 1.1 Billion times; however, when you search for African podcasts, it has only been viewed 282.7k times.
This means two things: that there aren’t enough people viewing African podcasters on TikTok, and that there is enormous potential for African Podcasters to infiltrate the TikTok market. The most successful ‘African’ podcasters are predominantly African-American or African-British podcasters, and one famous South African Podcaster.
Before introducing the 10-minute podcasts, podcasters like I Said What I Said (ISWIS) were posting 30 seconds or 1-minute clips of themselves recording their podcast in their living room or behind the scenes footage.
This is an excellent way of promoting your podcast and finding new audiences once you have already established and started your podcast. On average, an episode of the ISWIS podcast would be about 1hour, so they would probably continue using TikTok for marketing purposes.
Podcasts like Badilisha Poetry X-Change which have poetry episodes of 5 to 10 minutes, could use TikTok as a whole platform for their podcast by uploading audiograms or videos of their poetry.
The questionable side about doing this is whether or not consumers of TikTok are happy with the longer-form videos, and will they be pleased with longer podcast videos? If you are a regular TikTok user, you would have probably seen content creators having to post their videos in more than one part after being unable to share the entire story due to time constraints or people demanding the stuff be continued.
If your current content requires more or you can create gripping content, then TikTok consumers will be ready to consume more. However, as you should already know, people generally have a very low attention span. They can only concentrate on something for short amounts of time, which is why TikTok was a genius for capitalising on that.
This means that people may not be so willing, for the most part, to sit through 10 minutes of content. This new feature is going to separate the great content creators from the average because if you were getting millions of views for your 30-second snippets it might be because those 30 seconds were enough for a person to watch without deciding to watch something else.
Now that videos are 10 minutes long, people will be able to choose to watch something else if they are bored. You will need to make sure that your content is worth watching for 10 minutes.
If you are going to use the video method and record yourself speaking on your mic, then I would suggest the following:
Invest in GOOD lighting. It’s rare these days to see a TikTok video that isn’t shot with a ring light or some sort of extra lighting. Great lighting makes the video easier to look at because the quality is immediately better. When your video has great quality, people will immediately assume your content must be good too.
Be aware of the format. TikTok videos are not the same as YouTube videos in that the videos are portrait rather than landscape, so if you are a podcaster who uses YouTube, you may have to edit your video to fit a portrait screen.
Be charismatic. People will no longer be relying on their ears to judge you, but visually you will also need to captivate your viewer. You don’t have to dance or create lots of crazy zoom and motion edits but make sure you express yourself consciously aware of your viewers. Look presentable and be yourself. It might be tempting to copy the style of famous TikTokers but don’t. Your tribe will find you.